When Your Stereo Is This Pretty, Who Cares What It’s Playing?

We don't always fall in love with inanimate objects ...

September 8, 2017 9:00 am

It used to be that stereo systems were works of art. From brassy gramophones to the giant oaken towers of mid-century design, a proper stereo used to be the centerpiece of most bourgeois American living rooms.

But with the development of Bluetooth technologies and super-compact speakers that can still deliver a punch, the trend has been to downsize and obscure the speakers. To make them invisible, if possible.

Thankfully, someone out there still believes there’s a place for beautiful home audio design.

Symbol (4 images)

They’re called Symbol Audio, and they manufacture HiFi speakers and consoles that not only blast front-row sound quality, they also look damn good doing so. The New York-based designers have been making analogue and digital crossover stereos since 2012; each unit is housed in walnut, with a ’60s mod aesthetic that’s as timeless as the vinyl in your crates.

Their new crates come with leather-wrapped handles and can hold 100 LPs. They go great with their Modern Record Console, a vinyl-playing beast with a tube amp for that honey-thick sound.

But our money is on the Stereo Console, a smart-looking table with speakers embedded in its surface. It can be used with analogue players, wifi or your TV, and the exposed vinyl holder is a nice touch that doubles as display and function. Another new addition to their line — this wifi-enabled tabletop speaker — can pair with a record player if you bridge the two with a preamp.

Regardless of which piece you choose, Symbol is a perfect solution for anyone looking to raise their home-entertainment game.

Long live vinyl.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.